Helicopter

 

Helicopter

Helicopters are a critical component when effecting a rescue, or when fighting a wildfire. The helicopter shown is a Bell 412, one of the more common in larger geographic areas where wildfire and rescues are both priorities. The Bell 412 has a storied past, and is used by a number of large fire departments. It is a dual engine aircraft, utilizing two jet turbines. Four rotors keep the 412 in the air and are highly adjustable, even in fierce winds. This Bell example used by the Orange County Fire Authority has a sophisticated cockpit, including an Avalex Mapping System that allows a moving map display in topographic maps, street maps, and flight maps. It can be used to determine the perimeter of a wildfire, as one example. A Garmin GPS moving map system has also been tied into the traffic avoidance system showing the pilots where other aircraft are in relation to their ship. The main cabin is configurable, with either multiple seats for transporting a firefighting crew, or a litter kit that can transport up to six patients. The rescue hoist includes 280 feet of cable. The belly tank utilizes a foam injection system and holds up to 360 gallons of water. It can be filled via an engine company (pump), or via a snorkel system can completely load the tank in less than 50 seconds.

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